There’s nothing better than a quick and easy get-away with the family to refresh perspectives and bring you all closer together. We love Branson for its easy accessibility (about a 4 hour drive), tons of great places to stay, and its casual lifestyle, which makes packing that much easier. Most important, we love the fact that there is truly something for everyone in the family! Here are some of our family’s Branson favorites:
Silver Dollar City tops the list by far in our family. This theme-park has tons of fun rides – including water rides to help cool off on a hot afternoon – and many old-time craftsmanship experiences. My kids love watching the glass blowers at work, not to mention mining for gemstones and getting dressed up for a tin type photo. Two great ways to cool off are a cave tour (near the entrance of the park) or a stop in one of the many live shows throughout the day. We enjoyed Chris Stanley, who combines comedy, magic and science for a really fun all-ages show. For a list of shows, be sure to pick up the Silver Dollar City paper when you enter the park.
White Water is perfect for your water babies, and it’s another great way to cool off in Branson. They have tons of slides to enjoy, plus a wave pool, Coconut Cove, Splashaway Cay, and a lazy river for the younger/smaller set. Depending on your kid’s ages and heights, I recommend checking White Water’s height requirements before you go, to make sure your kids can enjoy the slides they want to try. If you’re going between now and August 10, you might check out White Water’s Night Water for an unusual evening experience!
The fun continues in Branson with:
- A variety of shows, including Dolly Parton’s Stampede, which features dinner, incredible horsemanship, and an all-around fun evening; or the Amazing Acrobats of Shanghai, which was spellbinding.
- More active fun with Fritz’s Adventure, Shepherd of the Hills Adventure Park, or Adventure Ziplines of Branson. Again, be sure to check for age/height requirements to make sure everyone can join the fun.
- The lakes: Rent a boat on Table Rock Lake or Lake Taneycomo, bring some snacks, and enjoy the cool breeze and the beauty of the Ozark hills.
- Arcade games, indoor and outdoor mini golf and more at the Grand Country Resort’s Fun Spot (your kids won’t want to leave).
- A trip back in time on Branson’s Main St. with a down-home meal at the Farmhouse Restaurant for some of the best biscuits you’ll ever eat, followed by a stroll around the old Branson Strip. Make sure to stop in to Dick’s 5 & 10 so the kids can see what a five-and-dime is!
Note: We love breaking up the trip with these two stops along the way:
- Going there: A visit to the George Washington Carver National Monument, just outside of Joplin, MO, where you’ll find an incredible museum dedicated to Carver’s life’s work, as well as a beautiful walking tour to visit the sites of Carver’s formative years. This stop is a little off the beaten path, but well worth the slight detour!
- Heading home: A stop in Springfield to check out the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, the original (and biggest) Bass Pro Shops location, and the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium. Be sure to give yourself at least a few hours!